Buckyballs Discontinued, Zen Magnets the last US magnet sphere company.

Source: http://www.zenmagnets.com/index.php?p=1_20_November_Update

Buckyballs threw in the towel, announced discontinuation, making Zen Magnets the last standing in the US. The AAP and NASPHGAN hand out prewritten think-of-the-children letters, instructing pediatricians to comment in support of CPSC magnet ban rulemaking.

On Bucky Dropping Out:

“Maxfield & Oberton, the maker of Buckyballs and Buckycubes, popular office toys made up of small magnetic beads that can be molded into different shapes, is discontinuing those products after continued pressure from the federal government,” said ABC Nightline.

We’re not sure about the specific reasons why Buckyballs has decided to give up now. The lawsuit from the Buckminster estate might have something to do with it too. This makes Zen the last magnet sphere company standing in the US for now. We’ll keep fighting as long as we can.

On the Rulemaking Whitewash:

For clarification, there are two attacks that the CPSC is launching. The first are the administrative complaints, precise and targeted lawsuits, missles launched against Buckyballs and Zen Magnets. The second is proposed rulemaking, a blanket ban on all “collections of small high powered magnets,” federal magnet sphere prohibition.

The significance of comments submitted to rulemaking, is that the CPSC is legally required to consider them (Though, they are the judge and executioner too.) On Oct 31st, was a well organized barrage of comments from AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) members and NASPGHAN (North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition) members in support of the ban [of Buckyballs and Zen Magnets]. Pediatricians have even received pre-written letters to submit, though in many cases failing to delete lines of instructions:

“Note: While this template includes key message points, commenters are strongly encouraged to personalize the letter for maximum effectiveness.” Click pdf icon to view attachment: http://goo.gl/XDkIS

“Insert personal story / experience treating children who have ingested these magnets as relevant”. Attachment here.

Before Oct 31, almost all comments were against the ban, and were made by civilians, students, teachers and parents. Now, a big chunk are in support of the ban. Though how much can the pediatricians really care about the ban of Buckyballs and Zen Magnets, if they can’t bother to finish their pre-written opinion letters?

You can see all of the public comments herehttp://goo.gl/O54e5

The prevailing patterns of arguments against the ban are the same as before:

* Trivialization of the the value and utility of magnet spheres. “These products are trash.” “They serve no useful purpose and should totally banned.”

* Magnets very dangerous if swallowed, and often require surgery. “debilitating injuries, irreversible gastrointestinal damage.” This point is mostly true.

* Magnets are inherently attractive to little kids, and warnings don’t work. “Purchasers will not keep them out of reach effectively.”

Comments can be posted on reddit here:
http://www.reddit.com/r/technology/comments/12jc1f/update_zen_magnets_the_last_standing_and_it/


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